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Covid-19 in Pakistan: Govt reaffirms Eid SOPs as infections continue to decrease

Experts suggest coronavirus cases might have already peaked in the country, while government encourages online services for Eid-ul-Azha
by TR Pakistan

The numbers: Pakistan’s tally of total coronavirus cases has reached 240,848 of which 145,311 patients have recovered. Among provinces, Sindh has reported the highest number of infections at 99,362 cases whereas Punjab is second at 84,587. Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have reported 11,052 and 29,052 cases respectively. The Islamabad Capital Territory has reported 13,731 cases whereas Gilgit Baltistan stands at 1,605 infections and Azad Jammu & Kashmir has 1,459 coronavirus infections. New infection cases seem to be declining as Karachi reported less than 1,000 cases in a day for the first time since May and the transmission rate has declined up to 30% in Punjab. Experts claim that the infections peaked in June.

Online Qurbani: Most district administrations have prohibited the yearly establishment of markets for sacrificial animals in big cities in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. This has led customers to turn to online selling points for the animals. Many sellers have begun advertising their animals on social media but charge higher prices. A variety of services are offered to customers including the home delivery of animals before the sacrifice or packaged meat of the animal after the sacrifice.

Smart lockdowns: The country continues to observe smart lockdowns in order to control virus transmission outside of hard-hit areas. The Punjab and Balochistan governments extended the smart lockdowns until July 15. The administration of Punjab recently de-sealed 61 localities in Lahore while a complete lockdown has now been imposed in seven other areas of the provincial capital. The Sindh government issued a similar notification extending the smart lockdown, continuing the ban on opening educational institutions and recreational spots, and allowing public transport selective hours for businesses. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the smart lockdown in 89 areas of the province has also been extended as officials claim that it has helped bring down the infection rate by 70%.

Around the world: As Prime Minister Imran Khan urged international cooperation and combined efforts to save the vulnerable public from the consequences of the pandemic, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that foreign students will not be allowed to stay in the U.S. if the courses they are taking in Fall have been shifted online. In the United Kingdom, a new bonus scheme was introduced to limit unemployment and provide relief to the tourism and hospitality sectors. In Australia, a strict lockdown has been imposed in the capital city of Melbourne as covid-19 cases are on the rise, and the second wave of virus infections is expected.

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